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October 31, 2012 06:02 PM

Stranger In Sturgis Prompts Safety Message

Sturgis, SD

Police in Sturgis are looking into a report that an unknown man in a white car offered a middle school student candy and a ride. The student is safe and now school officials are reminding parents and kids to be aware of strangers.

It was a frightening situation when a Sturgis middle school student was approached by a strange man in a white car after school on Friday afternoon.

"As she's getting closer to the auditorium there's a white car with a stranger in it asking if she needed a ride, asked if she wanted a candy bar," Meade County Schools Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said.

Fortunately, the student knew what to do and found safety at the Sturgis Public Library.

The student told her school's resource officer about the incident on Monday, which prompted a police investigation. The school has also sent parents a telephone message notifying them of the incident and reminding them to talk about safety with their kids this Halloween.

"This is a good time for us to have that talk with our kids to make sure that we are always doing the safe thing," Kirkegaard said.

Chrissy Peterson is the director of special services for the Meade County School District and has three daughters in school.

"One of the best things about living in South Dakota is raising our kids here. But we still have to be aware and teach our children that there are still lurking dangers even though we live in these wonderful communities," Peterson said.

With trick-or-treating in her family's plans on Wednesday, Peterson says she's setting some ground rules.

"We insist that our kids travel together. They stay in a group. They don't go places, they don't walk on the streets or downtown by themselves," Peterson said.

It's all part of making sure that kids have a fun and night with no scary surprises.

The Sturgis Police Department is following up on at least one lead. If your kids are going trick-or-treating tonight, police say it's a good idea to have a plan in place if they're confronted by a stranger.

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